(Scorecard image courtesy of BSurely. Click to enlarge.)
UFC 106′s Griffin/Ortiz rematch was a tricky one to judge, not just because the first two rounds were fairly even, but because it was contested both on the feet and on the ground — and as we’ve seen many times in the past, MMA judges can have vastly different opinions on the relative value of each aspect of a fight. In the end, Glenn Trowbridge saw it 29-28 for Tito Ortiz, while Marcos Rosales had it 29-28 for Griffin. The deciding vote was cast by a guy named Lester Griffin, who, from his angle, witnessed a one-sided shellacking. His 30-27 score for Forrest Griffin was later described as "crazy," "outrageous," and "insane" by Dana White. Lester was the only judge who scored round 1 for Forrest, and (along with Rosales) credited the second frame to Forrest as well, which is arguably an even more controversial choice.
So who is this guy? As jkd4200 pointed out, Lester Griffin is known to some as "Surf Dog," an original member of the full-contact stick-fighting collective Dog Brothers. Warning: What you’re about to see may shock you…
(Surf Dog is also at the top of this post doing a weapons form with an eight-foot wooden pole.)
Of course, there’s more to Lester than brutal stick-fights…
— He has an insane amount of martial arts certifications, including a spot in the Filipino Martial Arts Hall of Fame and a Chuck Norris Membership Card.
— He began judging MMA in 2000, and made his first UFC judging appearance at UFC 58.
— He bought his first pair of throwing knives in 1973.
— He runs a martial arts school in San Jacinto, where he teaches the most effective aspects of various styles to form a complete fighting system.
Yes, he may seem a bit eccentric. And judging from his scoring of the Griffin/Ortiz fight, he may be one of those guys (like Cecil Peoples) who completely checks out once the fight hits the mat. But as much as Dana White disagreed with Lester Griffin’s opinion, the UFC’s hands are tied — if you don’t like it, you can complain to Keith Kizer.